Last month, Andrzej Sapkowski, a household name in Eastern Europe, spoke about the video game adaptations of his famed fantasy books in The Witcher line.
His series of books had already developed a cult following by the time studio CD Projekt RED approached him in the early 2000s with the idea of turning the world into a blockbuster video game franchise.
Unfortunately for Sapkowski, he greatly understated the appeal and allure of his universe, and the capacity with which CD Projekt could make such great games.
In a fascinating interview with Eurogamer, Sapkowski revealed that one of his greatest regrets was not jumping on board and taking a bigger piece of the pie from the games.
Instead, he entrusted the studio with his fantastic universe, never really expecting much to come of it.
“What I expect from an adaptation: a big bag of money. That is all,” he said.
He didn’t have much respect for games then and doesn’t now, calling them “stupid”, and insists he had absolutely nothing to do with the game story or development, not even consultation.
Unsurprisingly, he believes he helped the games, rather than the games help him.
“It was not so that the games promote me,” he said. “I promoted the games with my name and characters.”
That comment created quite a bit of a stir in both the video game and literacy worlds, and now the author behind another eastern European gem in Metro 2033 has hit out at Sapkowski.
Speaking with Waypoint, Metro author, Dmitry Glukhovsky, said Sapkowski was wrong.
“He’s an arrogant motherfucker,” Glukjovsky said when asked about Sapkowski’s comments. “Without the gaming franchise, the Witcher series would never get this crazy international readership that it has. And it’s not just about the gamers but the gaming press and the buzz it creates, and just the feeling of something great and massive and impressive coming out. This got people hooked.
“He would remain a local Eastern European phenomenon without this, but he would never break into the West. And the same goes for my Metro books.”
While Sapkowski appears to have understated how important games are to his works, he was still praising of how well CPR developed his work.
“The game is made very well,” he said, “and they merit all of the beneficiaries they get from it. They merit it. The game is very good, well done, well done,” he said.